I finally got to crack open my bag of kalonji seeds. I bought them about a year ago, when I read a post on someone's blog that kalonji were her #1 favorite spice. Of course I was curious! I would describe them as the offspring of a Dried Onion - Black Sesame Seed - Poppy Seed mating ritual. They are small, pungent, and flavorful, but not at all overbearing.
Plus, Kalonji seeds have the best name ever. I kept thinking that it sounded like "jumanji," which I guess the name of a game or something. I don't even know, but those two words are fun to say together over and over in your head.
It always makes me a bit sad and grumpy when the naan at Indian restaurant isn't vegan. Which is pretty much every time. So, this time, I just made my own naan! They turned out so beautifully. The naan was easy to make (though I read the recipe a little too late, and only left it to rise for 5 hours instead of 8 hours... perhaps it could have been even better??!!). I loved how quickly each naan loaf baked up in my super hot 500 F oven. I felt like a village bread baker pulling out a hot loaf of naan every 5 minutes! The bread would still be delicious without them, but adding the suggested kalonji seeds on top was definitely a great idea - they added extra flavor blasts, and a little crunchy fun. In case you don't have kalonji seeds on hand, the recipe suggests that you can also use sesame seeds, so don't let it stop you!
This recipe is from Bryanna's wonderful new book "Vegan World Feast," and you'll be seeing more recipes from this book here at VE&T. It's full of inspiring recipes from all over the world, which is pretty much right up my alley. I love a book that is not afraid to include ingredients like kalonji seeds, but then also offers sesame seeds as a totally viable alternative. That way, if I'm in the mood for an adventure, I can find it - and if I'm not, I can still make myself some naan. There are soups and salads and entrees and a totally mind-boggling dessert section that I can't wait to explore. I just got this book from Bryanna (autographed!) at the Vida Vegan Con, but I already have a long list of all the recipes I'm hoping to make from it. Keep an eye out for more deliciousness!